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The Untold obsession with gelato is well documented and having discovered what we consider the best gelato in Rome, we moved our delicious gelato-seeking focus to seek out the best gelaterias in Florence.
For the uninitiated, true Italian gelato is an entirely different taste experience to ice-cream or sorbet. No matter how delicious your favourite ice-cream, gelato’s smooth texture and density of flavour is on a whole other mouth-watering scale.
Although good gelato can be found all over the world, it somehow always tastes better in Italy and the famous gelato in Florence is, of course, no exception! You can find our full reviews and suggestions for the best gelato in Florence below but here are our quick tips for gelato places by neighborhood and near the major attractions:
- Best gelato near the Duomo Florence: Perchè No
- Best gelato near the Ponte Vecchio: La Strega Nocciola
- Best gelato in Oltrano: Gelateria La Carraia
- Best gelato near Santa Croce: Gelateria dei Neri
Best gelaterie in Florence
Gelateria La Carraia
25/r Piazza Nazario Sauro and 24 Via dei Benci
Both famous and popular for good reason, Gelateria La Carraia is suggested by many tour guides and is the top pick in our Italy Travel Planning Facebook Group.
Found on the less-touristy side of the Arno, this famous Florence Gelateria love to experiment with new tastes and trends, as well as sticking with everyone’s favourite ‘antique flavours’.
Delight your taste-buds with the Ricotta Cheese and Pear or the Torta Della Nonna (Grandma’s Cake) based on a local pine-nut based dessert.
Photo courtesy of Italy Travel Planning group members Mark & Melissa Elliot
Gelateria dei Neri
9r Via dei Neri
Revered for their cheesecake gelato, this decades-old gelateria can be found a few minutes from Piazza Santa Croce. Flavours to look out for are bitter chocolate and mango cheesecake.
19/R Via Dei Tavolini
Perche No is right in the centre of Florence between the Uffizi Gallery and Duomo. It’s a tiny gelateria that prides itself on fresh natural ingredients and both classic and unusual flavours.
The Cammilli family runs the store which has been serving gelato to Florentines since 1939. We heartily recommend the pistachio and stracciatella and would love to try their honey and sesame.
Gelateria Santa Trinità
8r Piazza Dei Frescobaldi
The queues lining up outside this gelateria, facing the Santa Trinità bridge, are a testament to their fantastic gelato. The pistachio is a must-try, with their pistachios sourced from a small grower in Bronte They also have their own unique, speciality ‘Santa Trinita’ flavour which is very popular.
Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani
20r Viale dei Mille
Established in 1932, Badiani offers a selection of delicious flavours including the unique (and copyrighted) Buontalenti flavour. This custardy flavour tastes similar to condensed milk and is named after Bernardo Buontalenti, the man credited for inventing gelato.
La Strega Nocciola
16r Via Ricasoli and Via de’ Bardi, 51
Our founder Katy and Helen from our Italy Travel Planning Facebook Group both love this tiny hole-in-the-wall place on Via Ricasoli, just down from the Duomo.
La Strega Nocciola serves Amazingly rich gelato with beautiful flavours. The orange-chocolate combo and the hazelnut are particularly delectable!
They also have a store on the Oltrano side of the Arno at Via de Bardi, 51 as well as several other locations across the city – check the website for details.
Sbrino Gelatificio Contadino
32 Via De’ Serragli
Recommended by one of our tour guides and a favorite amongst our Italy Travel Planning Facebook Group, this neighborhood gelateria in the Oltrano district welcomes you with a big smile and an offer to taste all the flavours. The owner has his own farm where the milk used comes from.
Their sublime salted caramel and fior di latte will stay with you for life, but there are many delicious fruit-based flavours too.
Photo courtesy of Italy Travel Planning group member Sima Welch
7r Via dell’isola delle Stinche
This Florence gelateria can be found a couple of blocks north-west of Piazza Santa Croce. Joyce from our Italy Travel Planning Facebook Group heartily recommends the dark chocolate gelato; “It was like eating the fudge filling of a chocolate cake, but creamy, cold and rich. I have had a lot of chocolate ice cream and gelato, but never like this!”. In chillier weather, their delicious hot chocolate is a welcome treat.
DONDURMACI Gelateria Della Passera
15r Via Toscanella
This small gelateria, in a cute little piazza a block from the Marsilis Tower, offering both classic and creative flavours including Lavender, Pink Grapefruit and Lime and Mint.
Via Dei Calzaiuoli 65/R & Via Dei Calzaiuoli 65/R
A chocolatier established in 1878, Venchi also produces tasty gelato (and does a great coffee too). Another place for a fantastic pistacchio hit. Their Nocciolata (using Piedmont Hazelnuts) chocolate is delicious, so it stands to reason that the gelato rocks too.
Grom is a firm favourite if you are buying from the supermarket to enjoy back at your apartment or villa. The company ethos is to use the best quality ingredients in all their products, including fruit harvested from their Mura Mura organic farm, lying between the Langhe and Monferrato areas of Piedmont. As an added bonus – all their products are totally gluten-free! Grab the Nocciola (caramelised hazelnut).
Their stores also sell sorbet sticks, granita (try the pink grapefruit) and pan gelato (a warm croissant filled with your favourite gelato flavour). Two stores can be found in Florence: Firenze Campanile, Via del Campanile 2 and Firenze I Gigli, Centro Commerciale I Gigli, via San Quirico, 164
Now that you’ve found the best gelato in Florence, how about the best in the rest of the world?
Noteworthy for any gelato lover, the Gelato Festival consists of a 4-year qualification stage with selections and national/continental finals that allow chefs from all over the world to qualify for the final stages.
The whole thing culminates in the “Gelato Festival World Masters“, which next takes place in 2021. The final is usually held in Florence on the terrace at Piazzale Michelangelo, so take note for those planning a trip to Florence.
The Search for Great Gelato
Gelato is denser than ice cream as it is churned at a much slower rate. The percentage of butterfat in the mixture, the process of combining ingredients and the temperature at which the mixture is stored are all key factors in the creation of perfect gelato.
When looking out for the best gelato in Florence, look out for the following signs – produzione artigianale or proprio produzione, which means that the gelato is made by the owners of the shop.
Avoid places where the gelato is on display in glass cabinets with bright, unnatural colours. Hone in on the pistachio in particular – it should never be bright green, but instead a pale greeny brown colour.
For more tips check out this article.
The Florence Evening Stroll with Gelato walking tour takes you through some of the most vibrant neighborhoods, with a gelato stop along the way.
Fancy making it yourself? This Pizza and gelato making class in Florence teaches you how to make it yourself!
Everyone who visits Italy has a favourite gelato experience. What’s yours?
Tips for exploring Florence
If you’re planning to spend some time in Florence make sure to check out our city guide (includes must dos and itinerary ideas) and accommodation recommendations. Many people use Florence as a base for exploring Tuscany and beyond. Check out our round up of the best day trips from Florence to add to your itinerary.
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